investigation into an alleged drug murder has resulted in
the extradition of an alleged former Bandidos bikie from
Serbia. It is one of Australia’s first extraditions of a
criminal suspect from that country.
Bogdan Cuic has been
to face court accused of killing Jei “Jack” Lee during a
cocaine deal in 2012.
It follows a prolonged
probe during which Cuic slipped the net of surveillance by
Serbia’s fugitive squad for almost two years after delays in
paperwork provided by police in Australia.
Cuic was arrested in June
last year and extradited this week with the cooperation of
Serbia’s ministry of justice and its courts, despite the
country having no extradition treaty with Australia.
homicide squad Acting Inspector Damien Hansen praised the
cooperation from Serbia and the efforts of the Australian
government and federal police.
“The investigators never
gave up,” he said.
“They got a number of
roadblocks in their way because … there was no extradition
treaty with Serbia.
“It was a very difficult
murder investigation to begin with and this just adds
another level of complexity that I certainly haven’t
experienced and it’s the first time we have ever extradited
someone from Serbia and the first time I’ve ever been
involved in extraditing someone from a country that didn’t
have a treaty.
“I couldn’t speak highly
enough of the cooperation we got from the Serbian federal
Police allege Cuic was a
member of the Bandidos when he left Australia, the day after
Lee’s death in a carpark outside a sushi restaurant in Eight
Mile Plains in Brisbane’s south in April 2012.
They will allege that Lee
was shot in the head during a drug deal in which he was to
sell cocaine to Cuic and another man who has also been
charged with his murder.
Police allege Cuic
travelled to Serbia via Thailand. His grandparents months
later returned to Serbia after selling their Brisbane home
where Cuic had lived with them.
Hansen said Serbian police
had Cuic under surveillance but “he did hide prior to proper
authorities being granted and it took another close on two
years before he was located again”.
“But [Serbian authorities]
continually worked with us. They continually provided
resources, I think it was fantastic, the efforts,” he said.
parents were “naturally … pleased that two [suspects] have
been charged [but] they’re aware it’s the beginning of
another long process for the family as it goes through our
Comment has been sought
from the federal attorney general’s office on whether Cuic’s
extradition is the first from Serbia to Australia.
University of Queensland legal academic Andreas Schloenhardt
said while it may not be the first from the Balkan nation,
he was not immediately aware of any previous cases.
Cuic was due to face
Brisbane magistrates court on Thursday where he will be
remanded in custody. He would have to apply to the supreme
court for bail.